Monday, June 28, 2010

My complete lack of e-harmony

A friend of mine recently came to visit, she too is single and somehow managed to convince me that giving "e-Harmony" a try would be a good idea. Yes, she used my recent Bacheloress diatribe against me and briefly convinced me that as I was 'so happy alone' it wouldn't harm just to look what's out there and feel vindicated in my singledom.... Craft Cow!

Firstly, I completely avoid online dating sites these days after going through the whole Dating Direct carnival with a recently divorced friend a few years ago. I actually bothered to meet a few of the guys on there, boredom engulfed me (during the dates I might add) because it was all a bit fenzied, no real interest in getting to know one another in any way other than that which requires immediate condom application... Speed Dating was just as bad, I felt like I had strayed into a Carry On Film and wondered if each guy was waiting for my bra to fly off into his face! I ran a mile! Then thankfully I met someone the normal way... you know, chat about stuff, keep bumping into each other and things just kind of developed. OK, so it didn't last a lifetime but at least we were compatible for a while.

I'm not even looking, but she made the personality profile part sound interesting so I wandered over and spared a good few hours of my life to wind up with the usual psychometric-reduce-everyone-to-a-square-or-round-peg-profile, which was amusingly accurate on a couple of points and woefully wrong on a few others. Being someone who enjoys the company of old friends, just as much as I enjoy my own company and has sometimes lived alone perfectly happily, I was bemused to find myself described as someone who always craves company and gets really lonely quickly and prefers to be in a crowded room. Really, thank God for e-Harmony, I didn't know myself at all?

That obviously didn't inspire much confidence, nor the fact that it really blows smoke up yer ar*e on the good points!

One of the most alarming things about the profile is that while you get to choose only 10 good points that you value in a partner out of a list of 30 rather shallow attributes (it points out that that this will be  hard to do, but actually it was fine) it then worryingly tells you to choose only 10 bad points you find least attractive in a potential partner out of 30.... and suddenly we seem to have strayed into one of Quantico's psychopathic personality profiles designed to catch serial killers. Errr, narrow it down to just 10??? I felt distinctly uncomfortable not being able to tick all 30!!!! Sorry, I was expecting stuff like "picks his nose in public" or "wears sandals over socks" but we passed up all the minor league stuff and went straight to racism, misogyny, homophobia, total lack of empathy for fellow human beings and woodland creatures... non are particularly attractive to me, nor is religious intolerance (yes, I know,  I'm an atheist but that doesn't mean I think it's OK to brow beat those with beliefs different to my own) and I don't want to date someone who tortures kittens for fun... I mean Dexter is gorgeous but I wouldn't want to date him in real life.

Plus, if we flip this on it's head, I don't remember there being any questions to ascertain if I was racist, homophobic, likely to issue a fatwa at the drop of a hat, or spend my weekends dismembering casual acquaintances... so how would they know if those were my hobbies so they could NOT INTRODUCE me to men who had pointed out on their form that they didn't want a sociopath for a girlfriend? Arrrrgggggghhhhhhh....

Another point, E-harmony began life in the US and they seem to have failed to adapt their matching criteria on one crucial difference in our geography. I put down that I would only want to meet someone from within a 30 mile radius. OK, so in the States, that might only get you one match if you live somewhere rural, or non except a few racoons? Here in the UK, we have a very overcrowded island with an old and congested road network. So E-Harmony has automatically widened my search area (travelling for hours for a first date is putting rather a lot of pressure on to my mind!)  AND is looking for flexible matches (ie: People who don't match your search criteria!!!!!!!!!) Might as well trust your future dates to a random number generator... seriously, they just sent me a "match" to someone who is 49 years old and has given his christian name as that of a reptile!!!!! Seriously dude, calling yourself Snake!?!*$%!***

So anyway, you fill out this exhausting damn form, and I didn't realise that it would immediately be put "out there", I thought I would get to choose that option later if I decided to go ahead, but no, I am pitched headlong into the lion/snake filled arena of online-dating. And it immediately provided me with 3 matches, the best of which is only a 30% at that!!! A 30% match... I could do better than that myself in Waitrose with a bloody blindfold and a shrimping net!

At least Mr 30% said something sarcastic, which made me think that he was also finding the whole thing a bit of a fiasco. That's my biggest problem, my kind of guy would also find filling out those questions a bit ridiculous and probably also fail to check back in or follow up on those god-awful pre-filled out flirtatious replies they give you unless you pay to join. No, we are pretty much guaranteed our paths will never cross by the mere fact we would both find it farcical and wonder how we got talked into it. Non starter.

My problem is that I am hugely attracted to personality, hugely attracted to intelligence and people who don't necessarily follow the rules (but not in a "get me I'm so anarchic" type way). It's very hard to work up enthusiasm for a total stranger when all you have to go on is that they filled out a form in a similar way to you. Especially a form that gives you very little opportunity to put things into your own words, so there is very little to interest me in the profiles they present to me. I'm not intrigued, I need to be intrigued!

I also can't find a way to delete my bl**dy profile. I'm really not feeling the love for e-harmony!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Let's hear it for ADO!

I am a member of the Doll Group ADO (Much ADO about Art Dolls) and very proud of the fact. Because of my current problems I am not a particularly active member but that doesn't mean I am not benefitting from all the hard work that is done by and on behalf of the team by a relatively small group of members.

There are over 100 artists in this team, ALL of whom juggle perhaps full-time jobs, taking care of families and who knows what else with the very time consuming business of making beautiful and original hand-made dolls. That isn't an easy balancing act. A number of those very busy people also spend countless hours working to promote the team, and oganise and galvanise the 100+ members in lots of events and challenges. We ALL benefit from their work, ALL 100+ members, whether we ever give anything back to that team or not. I would have thought the word "TEAM" would be a giveaway that this is meant to be a group effort, you will get out of the experience as much as you are willing to put in, although often a lot more.

I can understand anyone having a bad day and writing a personal and emotional rant on their blog or website, we are all entitled to throw our dummy out of the pram on occasion and bawl out our eyes. It's a little embarrassing to do that in public, but what the hell, we are artists and public tantrums have not been dismissed as "artistic temperament" down the centuries for no reason!

What I find harder to understand and forgive is when that tantrum turns vindictive and petulant statements are made that hurt not just some vague concept of ADO, but actually the reputations of ALL 100+ Art Doll artists who are members of that team. THAT isn't artistic temperament that is plain rude. There are some very talented people out there who believe the world owes them a living and think that exceptions should be made because of their talent, they wear their egos and wounded pride like badges of honour and cry "poor me" all the time. They are very quick to point the finger when they imagine they have been wronged but go very quiet when it is their turn to apologise. People have sympathy for them for a time but eventually that sympathy wears thin... no-one is so talented that people endlessly forgive.

Other very talented individuals work just as hard, they tirelessly promote their work and are generous enough to try and help others around them, they do not begrudge the success of others and try to nurture fledgling talent when they see it. They rarely cry "poor me" and just get on with the day to day slog and people like them, people remember them and they get on in life and manage to get their work out there and get seen. Who becomes the bigger success is often in the Lap of The Gods but I know I prefer to deal with the latter.

And I'm happy to say that from my dealing the majority of the 100+ members of ADO are in the latter group

Monday, June 7, 2010

Storm Warning!

Take cover everyone! In an effort to lose 2 stone (28 lbs) pronto and get back into my healthy weight range (BMI 20-25) I am going on a diet (haven't we heard that somewhere before???). It's the best thing for my poor ankle right now... not to mention it's hot and I can't fit into any of my summer clothes. But I'm not going on any old diet, oh no... I'm going on the Cambridge Diet! So, mettle will be tested, nerves will be frayed and I will be one temperamental little bunny for the next few weeks.

Just thought I should warn ya ;O)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Finally spammed into submission

Sorry, enough is enough! Having been spammed up to the eyeballs I have turned comment approval on and will only be publishing those written in some form of english from now on

Dolly Shrine

My unintentionally long term project to restore an old bow fronted china cabinet to house my BJD collection is finally coming to a close, I hope. I saw it on Ebay last summer and it just happened to be located in a village in the hills above Holywell, ideal! It has sweet little Ball & Claw feet too! I got it for a great price and made arrangements to pick it up, then (notice the familiar theme) my back went. So the poor owners had to hang onto it for weeks while I recovered, they had needed it out of the way to redecorate! Ooops.

After a hair-raising journey home up and down some VERY steep hills with the cabinet roped into my open car boot, I took out the shelves and got to work sanding and removed the heavy varnish. Everyone who saw it said I was mad to paint it, that I would regret the decision, yet it is now looking fantastic in cream with antique gold edging. It got brought upstairs, a lovely silver metallic wallpaper was applied to the back so that it reflects the available light (in this room/cave that's a must!) and I figured that the week after Christmas I would easily have the intricate doors painted and rehung...

Regular readers will know how that went! My dollies have been sitting or standing in the cabinet with their legs swinging over the edge for the last 5 months... now that I am ready to sort out the doors I need to get everyone inside, so a tidy up was called for. What to do with the 3 floating heads? They seemed a bit macabre lying at the feet of the full dolls so I moved them up to sit on the little seat in my dolly shrine above the cabinet... how cute do they look?!!

Will post pics of the cabinet itself when the doors are back on... 2012, possibly?